Brain Injury Center Holds Press Conference On Athlete Concussions

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

As a high school football coach, Haslett's Charlie Otlewski has seen his fair share of injuries and one of the most recent came last week in a game against East Lansing when one player got a concussion.

"He didn't recognize where he was at or his mother and father," said Otlewski.

According to Otlewski, some concussions are easily identified. Others, however, are not easy to spot.

"On one hand you get kids that are pretty good about talking to you and we can tell just by behavior issues and changes," said Otlewski. "Then, we've got some kids that are a challenge because they know if they tell you, they're coming out of the game."

That's why Otlewski and Haslett Athletic Director, Darin Ferguson, teamed up with the Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, Tuesday, for a press conference about concussion awareness. They spoke about awareness not just in football, but in other sports, like lacrosse and soccer, as well.

"With the fall sports kicking off in the next week or so, we thought it was important to get the word out to parents and coaches about some things to watch for when athletes are out on the field," said Eric Hannah, Co-Executive Director of the Origami Rehabilitation Center.

According to Hannah, concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury and parents and coaches should watch for certain symptoms, starting with behavioral issues.

"Then, they can dig a little deeper and see if there are certain things they are not remembering," said Hannah. "Do they seem to not be as responsive, do they have any headaches, are they not as comfortable."

For Haslett, they have a policy where parents are called if a concussion is suspected. Then, they send the athlete to their primary care physician.

A recent study shows that more than 140,000 high school athletes suffer concussions each year.

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